Names of note on British Baby Names

Happy Monday y’all!! It’s eclipse day! Are your kids as excited as mine?? Since we haven’t been able to snag any of the sold-out eclipse glasses, we’ll probably watch most of it on NASA’s site, but we’re also going to make these eclipse viewers (just waiting for my coffee to brew).

In similarly earth-shaking news, for the first time in a verrrry long time I’m all caught up on consultations and don’t have any scheduled to post! What! So if you’ve been wanting one, now’s a great time!

In lieu of our normal Monday consultation fun, I want to talk about the British Baby Names blog. Are you as hooked on it as I am?? I’ve been keeping it up on my computer all summer and browsing through the birth announcements when I have a few minutes here and there, and there have been so many amazing names that I’ve been keeping a running list to share with you all! Like these amazingly Catholicky Catholic sib sets:

Clemency Jane Frances “Clemmie,” baby sister of Edward Blaise “Ned,” Beatrice Mary “Bea,” Christopher Ambrose Richard “Kit,” Josephine Alice “Posy,” & Mary Assumpta (from this post)

Sebastian Francis Bertram (from this post)

Matilda Agnes, baby sister of Hubert James Raphael, Beatrice Elizabeth, Emilia, Leo John Bartholomew & Helena Adelaide (from this post)

Rufus Benedict, baby brother of Theodora Verity & Harriet Cecily (from this post)

Theresa Eleanor “Tess,” baby sister of Robert John “Bobby” & Francis William “Frankie” (from this post)

I’m fascinated by these Irish and Welsh and names!

Liusaidh Hannah Lesley, baby sister of Ruairidh Joseph Henry & Eilidh Margaret Catriona (from this post)

Gwenlli Fflur, baby sister of Ynyr Alun & Gwern Rhisiart (from this post)

Beca Grug, baby sister of Aron Huw, Erin Gwen & Math Owen (the woman behind the blog, Eleanor, noted that Grug = GREEG “heather”) (from this post)

Nedw Lleu, baby brother of Liwsi Glwys (from this post)

Guto Lloyd & Elen Mair, twin sibs of Awen Mair (from this post)

I liked seeing Evelyn as a boy’s middle (a la Evelyn Waugh): Humphrey Evelyn (from this post).

These were just amazing, for one reason or another:

Henrietta Zillah Iris, baby sister of Xanthippe Phyllis Elizabeth (from this post)

Primrose Ophelia “Posy,” baby sister of Theodora Kate “Teddy” (from this post)

Zinnia Indigo, baby sister of Azalea Primrose (from this post)

Zsa Zsa Hermione Christobel, baby sister of Cressida Lucy Florence, Rocco & Aubrey (twins) (from this post)

Molly Jessica & Pippa Josephine, twin sisters — I love how their first and middles have the same number of syllables, and I love Molly and Pippa together! (from this post)

Tatiana Mary Alexandra, baby sister of Maximillian Randal James, Jemima Honey Frances & Willa Charlotte Moore (from this post)

And speaking of Jemima, beloved of every name lover, I also spotted Jemimas in these posts: here, here.

I really liked the nickname here: John Patrick Carnegy “Jock” (from this post), and was so surprised to see both a Jack and a Johnny in this family: Jack Oliver, baby brother of Johnny Robert, Harry Anthony & Joseph James (from this post). I was also surprised at the number of Montys (two of them here and here) and Jontys (as is, as both a first and middle, here, here, here) — Jonty’s a traditional nickname for Jonathan, and you might remember that I suggested it to Rosie and Tim in this consultation.

I’m barely scratching the surface with all the amazing names listed in the birth announcement posts, and there are also consultation posts too. Such a fun site!

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Spotlight on: Ryan

We’re going to finish up Irish week with an Irish spotlight! ((irish twinkle eyes!!) (Thanks too for all the great ideas for Colleen yesterday!)

Not too long ago, Katrina of Hatch Prints (hand lettering and art shop on Etsy, goorrrgeous) and Cedars and Tiny Flowers (mama blog) fame posted about her oldest’s name, Ryan Donald (he who looks uncannily like my oldest nephew in several of his photos — Mom/sisters/sisters-in-law, do you agree?), and wrote,

We didn’t put much emphasis on for having a saintly base to his name. We think our names get a passing grade as long as there is just one saint that can be connected. I have all the hope in the world that there will be a St. Ryan someday even with my ordinary mothering especially after reading this the other day. There happens to be a St. Donald, but it is kind of a downer because there is almost nothing known about him. I do wish we had a specific intercessor picked out to call upon for Ryan. Maybe Kate could do a spotlight on Ryan? Hint, hint.”

I totally picked up the hint (:) ) and thought it would be the perfect name to spotlight not only at the end of Irish week (because it’s Irish, just in case you weren’t sure), but also as we go into Holy Week, since I’m totally thinking that the best faithy connection for Ryan is Jesus Himself.

Ryan is said by behindthename and babynamesofireland (which only has an entry for Ryanne, “a female form of Ryan,” but not Ryan. Weird) to come from from ri (=king) and the diminutive –in, in essence meaning “little king,” which is, to me, all that tiny Babe in the manger. How cool. I might then consider it a possible Christmas name as well. I’m totally loving this idea!

Further digging shows there may indeed be a St. Ryan, under the name St. Rhian, and he is a mysterious (but so intriguing!) fellow. There’s a Welsh town called Llanrhian, where “llan” means “place of” (according to my Welsh expert friend Clare from Name News [a treasure trove of name info] — check out her comments about Welsh names and pronunciations on my post here, so cool!), and “There are lots of place names that are Llan + saint’s name, e.g. Llanfair (Mair = Mary), Llanbedr (Pedr = Peter).” so Llanrhian is named after someone named Rhian, and despite the fact that behindthename says Rhian is a Welsh female name meaning “maiden,” this site says about St. Rhian,

Little is known of this saint, or of any other dedications to him. A few suggestions have been made:

  • The name may originally have been Rian, Rayn or Ryan, as early documents spelt it this way, and he could have been one of St David’s followers.

  • He could have been Rein, or Rhun, son of Brechan Brycheiniog, whose children have churches dedicated to them in various parts of Pembrokeshire

  • He could have been Reanus, Abbot of the 7th century

  • The name could have been descriptive – rian was an old Irish word for a trackway and Llanrhian might refer to the church on the trackway

  • It would recall some local chieftain who had embraced the Christian faith (rhi = king, an = little)

  • The Welsh word for maiden is rhiain, so the dedication might be to the Virgin Mary.”

(What’s that? A possible connection to Mother Mary?? ((heart eyes!!)) ) You can read more about Llanrhian and its founder/saint in this great document, and he even has a feast day (March 8).

So I’d say, if Katrina, or anyone else, wants a known patron for Ryan, I’d look to Jesus, and how awesome is that. But if a saint with the actual name is desired, St. Rhian’s the best we got, and not a terrible option at all.

What do you think of Ryan as a Jesus name? Do you have any other ideas for a patron saint for Ryan? Thanks to Katrina for the shout out and request!

 

Spotlight on: Dunstan, Mihangel, Paderau

I’m familiar with a lot of names. I read name books all the time — over and over again — call me crazy, but I find them soothing and always interesting and I learn something new each time. But I was still blown away when I was re-reading one of my favorites last night — Oxford Dictionary of First Names — just flipping through it, looking up some specific names, reading on about others, and I came across three I’d never noticed before: Dunstan, Mihangel,  and Paderau.

Dunstan is a male name, “[f]rom an Old English personal name derived from dun ‘dark’ + stān ‘stone’, borne most notably by a 10th-century saint who was archbishop of Canterbury. The name is now used mainly by Roman Catholics” (emphasis mine). !!! Now, maybe I’ve heard of Dunstan, but the fact that, at least for the audience intended by the authors (mostly Brits I would think), the name is used mainly by Roman Catholics immediately made me want to take note. So cool!

Mihangel and Paderau were both listed in the “Welsh Names” section of the book. Mihangel is a male name, from an “[o]lder Welsh equivalent of Michael … representing a contraction of the phrase ‘Michael the Archangel'” — I don’t know much about Welsh pronunciation, so I’m not sure how to say it, but I love that it’s for Michael the Archangel.

Paderau is both a male and female name, and it’s a modern Welsh name “from paderau ‘beads, rosary’.” Again, I don’t know how to say it, but when I looked it up on behindthename.com, one of the comments said, “Reminds me of the Irish word for rosary; paidrín (probably because paidrín and paderau are related words). However, from reading the comments on Behind the Name, it would seem that many ‘modern Welsh names’ aren’t used by the Welsh at all, and they just sound ridiculous to them. I hope this is a real name in Wales (because that’s all that matters, if you’re choosing a Welsh name), but it really looks nicer than it sounds.” Paidrín! I love that too! It’s not listed as a proper name anywhere that I could see, but I think both Paderau and Paidrín would be amazing names in honor of Our Lady via the Rosary (maybe best in the middle though).

What do you all think of these names? Do you know anyone with these names, or how to say Mihangel and Paderau?